Alexander Sorloth

Trabzonspor European ban
Photo by Hakan Burak Altunoz/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Turkish leaders Trabzonspor hit with European ban

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Trabzonspor’s outstanding season put it on the verge of a return to European football, but the Turkish Super Lig leaders won’t get to enjoy the spoils of victory.

Trabzonspor has failed to meet the terms of a Financial Fair Play agreement made with UEFA in 2016, according to the BBC, and will miss out on Europe should they qualify in either of the next two seasons.

[ MORE: Remaining PL schedule in full ]

Trabzonspor is comfortably in the top four, ahead of Istanbul Basaksehir on goal differential and nine points clear of fifth-place Besiktas.

The news is plenty good for Besiktas, Alanyaspor, and Fenerbahce, who all sit within four points of fifth place but another five beyond the top four.

There have been plenty of familiar faces in Trabzonspor’s run to the top of the TSL table, though Daniel Sturridge’s starring role is over. His contract with Trabzonspor was voided after he was banned from football until mid-June and fined nearly $200,000 for providing his brother with “inside information” regarding a possible summer transfer to Sevilla.

Ex-Crystal Palace striker Alexander Sorloth leads the club with 25 goals and long-time Chelsea man John Mikel Obi mans the midfielder. Badou Ndiaye, Ogenyi Onazi, and Joao Pereira are also on the team, and may not have the patience for a year without Europe.

Premier League Preview: Huddersfield Town vs. Crystal Palace

Scott Heavey/PA via AP
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  • Town beat Palace 3-0 on Aug. 12
  • Palace knocked Town out of League Cup
  • CPFC leads all-time 13W-17D-12L

Crystal Palace hopes it can climb out of the drop zone by pulling host Huddersfield Town to within its grasp with a visit to the John Smith’s Stadium on Saturday (Watch live at 11 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

[ MORE: Arsenal avoids Atleti ]

Palace opens the weekend in 18th place with 27 points, four behind 15th place Town.

Huddersfield has only lost once in its last four matches, to Tottenham, but was frustrated last week when it couldn’t find a goal despite almost 80 minutes up a man at home to Swansea City.

Palace has lost four-straight in the league, but three of the opponents were Spurs, Manchester United, and Chelsea and all were one-goal losses.

 

What they’re saying

Huddersfield boss David Wagner on his side: “We have the momentum we always wanted to have at this stage of the season, seven points out of the last four and one was Tottenham away. All the other teams were around us and we’ve collected points and beaten them. We played a good game against Birmingham in the Emirates FA Cup as well. The players are in a positive mood. They have shown performances which can give them all the confidence they need, but they know tomorrow is a new game and we have to be on it again.”

Palace striker Alexander Sorloth on the trip to the John Smith’s Stadium“It is an optimistic mood and we are looking forward to the game on Saturday that we will be looking to get three points in, especially because we have a lot of players who are back from injury which has given us some optimism in the squad. … You always want to win but the stakes are a little bit higher for this game because Huddersfield are close to us in the table but every player in our squad has had experience with this kind of situation.”

Prediction

Neither side feels rewarded as both grab a point in a 1-1 draw.

Chelsea 2-1 Palace: More Willian electricity

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  • Willian scores 13th of season
  • Blues off to Barcelona at midweek
  • Van Aanholt scores 90′

Willian was the danger man and his goal was joined by a Martin Kelly own goal as Chelsea cruised past Crystal Palace 2-1 at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Patrick Van Aanholt scored a 90th minute goal to pull one back for Palace.

The Blues remain comfortably fifth with 56 points while injury-hit Palace remains 18th but did get a Wilfried Zaha substitute appearance.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Chelsea was in control early, and Wayne Hennessey answered the bell when Giroud redirected N'Golo Kante‘s shot on target.

Willian then hit a low shot toward the near post that Hennessey collected with a dive.

The Brazilian got it over the line in the 25th minute, cutting into the center of the park and seeing a slightly-deflected offering beat Hennessey to the near post.

A well-worked Chelsea move saw Willian allow a Marcos Alonso cross through his leg to Hazard, who cued Zappacosta for a shot that turned off two Crystal Palace players and into the goal.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Chelsea opened the second half with a poor giveaway, and Alexander Sorloth cranked a shot off the near post as Palace failed to pull back a goal.

Willian worked a 1-2 with Giroud, but took an extra touch on the return ball and saw his shot blocked by James Tomkins.

Hennessey denied Hazard in the 55th minute, as Chelsea looked to keep its form firing on all cylinders ahead of the midweek match with Barcelona.

Wilfried Zaha won a free kick on the left edge of the 18, and his blocked shot found Patrick van Aanholt. His shot was caught by Thibaut Courtois.

A Willian free kick at the other end beat the wall but not the flying parry of Hennessey. And Giroud hit the post in the 67th.

Sorloth had an 85th minute goal pulled back for undisclosed reasons, as Palace probably should’ve had 2-1 with five minutes to play. It got its goal when Van Aanholt prodded a shot through Courtois’ legs in the 90th minute.

“Devastated” and “empty” Palace must pick up the pieces

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Crystal Palace looked set to pull off another Selhurst shock after Andros Townsend and Patrick Van Aanholt scored to give the Eagles a 2-0 lead over Manchester United on Monday.

[ MORE: Recap | Matic reacts | Mourinho, too ]

It wasn’t to be, though, as a Nemanja Matic wonderstrike capped off a furious United fight back that pushed the Red Devils back into second place and kept the Eagles in the Premier League’s relegation zone.

“It’s the Premier League and unfortunately we were on the wrong end of it tonight,” Townsend said. “We have proved we can pull off shocks against the top sides. We will put on a show on Saturday [against Chelsea] and hopefully pull off another shock.”

Palace was lively and busy, with twin tall forwards Christian Benteke and Alexander Sorloth a handful for the United defense and opening up lanes for Townsend and others. Here’s Sorloth, who arrived from Midtjylland in January.

“It’s an empty feeling, we should have had the three points today after leading 2-0 against United then we should have controlled the game more and don’t give them so much space on the ball and then they go and score at the end,” said Sorloth.

As for Roy Hodgson, he’s been through the wars and will be ready for the weekend, but can’t help but feel sympathy for his men after a decent effort.

“Where we are in the table doesn’t enter my mind during the match,” he said. “It would have been nice to have two more points but we still would have been very much in a relegation battle. It could well go down to the wire.”

“I was expecting to come away with one point but once again it is nothing and I feel devastated for the players.”

Palace is off to Chelsea on Saturday before a bona fide six-pointer at Huddersfield Town.